PhD Seminar Hints on Writing (B) Using Citations Appropriately Jeff Offutt

PhD Seminar
Hints on Writing (B)
Using Citations Appropriately
Jeff Offutt
Citation Notes
Your Citations Must Help Readers
Understand the Paper
Citation Notes
• One of the unique aspects of academic writing is
• Citations carry crucially important information :
– What the paper is based on (context)
– What the author knows
– What the reader should know
• They are considered a measure of the care the
author takes with his or her research
© Jeff Offutt
Citation Terminology
• Reference : Direction to a source of information,
the author, title, etc. at the end of the paper
• Citation : To mention in support of proof or
argument, mentioning work in the text
– “[14]” is a citation
• Bibliography : An exhaustive list of all publications
on a subject
© Jeff Offutt
Rules for Citations
1. Never reference something you have not read
1. This is not style, but ethics
2. Use “secondary citations” only when necessary
2. List all authors in reference list
1. (never use “et al.” in reference list!)
3. Write authors names as they appear in the paper
4. Give enough information to find the reference
5. Citations are parenthetical elements, not nouns
1. “… as said in [Gomaa98].” is grammatically wrong
2. “… as said by Gomaa [Gomaa98].” is correct
6. Citation keys should appear in reference list
© Jeff Offutt
Keep Your Reference DB Neat
• If your references are sloppy, readers will assume
your research is also sloppy
• When you correct a reference in a paper, make
sure you correct your permanent data base
– I have used the same .bib file since 1988
• It is better to over-reference than under-reference
– Even famous scientists like to see their names in print
© Jeff Offutt